It’s been a really hard week. I’m not comparing to others’ personal plights, I’ve just had a few of my own. The week has been a stifling one – sick in bed, alone in the farmhouse, and all of that solitude has afforded me much too much time to think.
Whereas the rest of the world seemed to be only too eager to say ‘so long’ to 2017, I admit than I am reticent to let go of one of the best years of my life. This one was huge – a wedding, a new house, a new job, and the life that we wanted to create when we moved back from DC appeared to be taking shape. New friendships formed and I was alive once again in my classroom, where let’s face it – other than the stage, is my happiest place to be.
So 2018 came around and I just wasn’t ready to embrace it. The house has been bitterly cold, the days are bitterly dark, and the happy chaos that ensued around the holidays took a toll. I just. Wasn’t. Ready.
When we lost a dear friend last month – too soon, too prematurely – it sent me into a tidal wave of confusion. I wasn’t the only one who had the wind knocked out, but grief is as much personal as it is shared, and my personal grief was truly consuming. I have spent my lifetime trying to quell the issues of others, be it family, friends or students, and for the first time I felt the burden of helplessness. At that moment I realized that there were no more phone calls to make, no more hours spent sitting in conversation, nor anything else that could ease the pain. Helpless, hopeless.
I realize that personal demons are so invisible to those who are not haunted. And after those demons win, the rest of us are left wondering how the hell we never knew – and even worse, never helped.
So almost two weeks into the New Year, it’s time to make some changes.
I can’t be everything I want to be for other people – but I can make changes that will result in feeling that I gave everything I could, am the healthiest I can possibly be, and can handle the dark moments that “blindside us on some idle Tuesday.” Thanks Baz for that.
I’m only 33 years old, and this world isn’t about social media, followers, likes, or even divisive politics that have estranged family. It’s so much more than that. And I encourage you to pick up the phone and use it for something more meaningful – make the call to someone you have wondered about, who has been on your mind, and you need to hear their voice. Today a “like” won’t do.
Make. The. Call.